Are you suddenly tired of your home? You are not alone! During lockdowns, you probably spent a lot of time trapped in the same space and surrounded by the same furniture. It’s easy to understand why you want to make some changes. But, before you start browsing other properties, read our guide below and find out why a home addition is better than moving.
Build a home addition or move…that is the question?!
We all know that major home remodeling projects can be a pain. They are costly, loud, and usually inconvenient. But, sometimes we have to choose the lesser of two evils. Fact is, remodeling is a breeze compared to moving.
From packing up all of your belongings to saying goodbye to friends and family, moving is one of the most tiring experiences for homeowners. It’s also much more expensive, especially if you have to fix up the new property.
Other notable drawbacks of moving:
- Adapting to a new environment – When you move to a new neighborhood, it’s like the world is upside down. You may have to find another job, new schools for your kids, and grocery stores that match your diet. It will also take time to find bus stops, coffee shops, and gas stations in the area. Expect it to take a few months, minimum, to adapt to your new lifestyle and routine.
- Unfamiliar neighbors – One benefit of living in the same house for a while is that you get to know your neighbors. Many homeowners have built lifelong bonds with families next door, even trusting them with their pets and house maintenance during holiday trips. Sure, you can build bonds with new neighbors too but it will take a very long time until you can fully trust and rely on them.
- Higher chances for risk – Even though it’s exciting, moving to a new home is risky. You must plan your finances to the smallest detail so you can pay off your mortgage debt. To avoid getting scammed, you need to read through every contract and make sure the property is properly insured and is in the right condition. Packing and moving furniture and appliances can also be risky since it can result in theft and damaged items.
Sometimes moving is necessary. However, upgrading the property you already have is easier and usually less expensive. If you are still in doubt, here are the top 7 reasons to choose a home addition vs. moving to another property:
ADDITIONS REQUIRE LESS RESEARCH AND LUCK
Choosing a new home requires a lot of research, especially if you plan to move out of state. First, you will have to find the perfect property which is tough on its own. You must be absolutely sure that the home is worth the investment and that its condition matches the photos and description. Many homebuyers have been victims of scams and sketchy deals so it’s highly recommended that you have experts you trust by your side.
Building a home addition will cut your research time in half. Yes, you will need a building permit. And yes, you will need to find contractors, look for design inspiration, and probably research return on investment (ROI) stats. However, these won’t cause too much of a headache compared to moving to a new home.
MOST ADDITIONS INCREASE HOME VALUE
Let’s take a closer look at the ROI. Many homeowners plan their home upgrades for specifically increasing their home’s worth. According to the 2021 Remodeling.net Cost vs. Value Report, a master suite addition can yield a 55% ROI, while a mid-range to upscale bathroom addition can yield 53%. A deck addition can go as high as 66%.
Remodeling to increase value is a very smart move, especially in cities with rapid growth in popularity and in migration. It’s also a great opportunity to secure a better future for the next generation in your family.
Home additions usually have a high ROI because, in real estate, square footage is everything! However, some additions are more profitable than others. The term “home addition” is used for many projects, including bathroom/attic/garage conversions, sunrooms, backyard cottages, build-ups (adding another story), and build-outs (expanding your ground floor). The safest option is a conversion. It won’t cost as much but will significantly increase the overall value. You can also invest in sunrooms and outdoor buildings (kitchens, pool houses, cottages…).
If you want to find the right project for your home, we recommend consulting contractors and real estate/listing agents as well as researching market trends. The stats will vary depending on your location, neighborhood value, and the current condition of your home.
YOU CAN BUILD EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT (OR NEED)
Even though home additions are profitable, some homeowners aren’t interested in ROIs and property value. They simply want to create a cozy home for their family.
Many homeowners are not satisfied with their square footage. This is a common scenario for new families with children. Eventually, they realize there’s not enough space for everything and everyone! They usually have to compromise and end up not having either a proper family area, relaxation spot, or entertainment zone. Home additions are great for solving this issue since you can design and build a structure that fits your wants and needs.
Whether it’s an outdoor kitchen, a sunroom, or a guest bedroom in the attic, you can find plenty of inspiration online. After you get a clearer vision of the look and feel of the addition, consult architects and designers so they can make it come to life. There’s no packing, moving, or adapting to a new environment. Instead, it’s a creative and collaborative process that will bring you one step closer to your dream home.
YOU CAN MAKE YOUR HOME FEEL NEW AGAIN
Besides increasing practicality and comfort, home additions can make your home feel new again. We mentioned how the pandemic has affected homeowners in terms of daily routine. Getting bored with your space is normal, but this feeling doesn’t have to last forever.
When designing a home addition, feel free to get creative. You can convert your basement to a movie theatre, build an office in your backyard, create a tropical sunroom, or add a balcony next to your bedroom. If finances are not a concern, you can completely rearrange the space to fit your vision. You can even build a terrace on top of your garage, add an indoor sauna, or connect your living room with a pool… whatever your dreams are, make them a reality!
YOU LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORS
Living in a friendly neighborhood is truly a luxury. So if you have already built strong relationships with your neighbors, why move away? From BBQ parties to holiday celebrations, the time spent with your current neighbors brings more joy to your daily routine. Plus, if you are on good terms, you can always ask for help, whether it’s fixing your landscaping, a DIY project, or simply looking after the kids when you get stuck at work.
If you choose home addition vs moving, you stay in the same neighborhood, surrounded by familiar friendly faces. On the other hand, if you move away to another place, you will be confused at first and will have to start all over again: getting to know neighbors, figuring out who you can trust, who gets your sense of humor, etc.
YOUR CURRENT EQUITY MAY HELP YOU PAY FOR AN ADDITION
The best advantage of building a home addition is that you can use your equity to cover the cost. More and more homeowners are taking advantage of this opportunity and are increasing their ROI in the process.
If you don’t know what home equity loans are, don’t worry! It’s a very simple concept. Home equity loans allow homeowners to borrow against the equity of their property. The amount of the loan is the difference between your current home value and the amount you need to pay off your mortgage debt. For example, if your house has an estimated value of $800,000 and you only need to pay $500,000 for clearing your mortgage loan, you will have around $300,000 equity on your home. According to statistics, over 50% of homeowners are using their equity for home improvements. Tax deductions can also apply.
Depending on the type of addition you are planning, you can use the entire equity or only a part of it. However, there are certain factors you should consider before deciding. Ask yourself:
- “How long do I plan to live here?”
- “What’s the real estate market like in my area and can my home value drop soon?”
- “Can I return the money if the real estate market drops?”
- “Which home improvement projects have the highest ROI in my area?”
LESS STRESSFUL AND MORE CONVENIENT
When we compare home addition vs moving, another crucial factor comes to mind: administrative tasks and paperwork. As we mentioned, home additions usually require building permits and you will have to deal with insurance and construction contracts. But, this is nothing compared to the paperwork involved in moving — forwarding the mail, securing property and title insurance, establishing a legal domicile for taxes, cancelling subscriptions to current utility providers — just to name a few!
Like all construction projects, building a home addition is tiresome. However, once the contractors finish their job, you simply need to say farewell, close the door, and enjoy your newly updated home.